Disturbing reports out of Rockdale County made local headlines this past week. According to reports, an elderly man was tied up in his own home and robbed by two masked men carrying guns.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the law behind the offense of home invasion in the state of Georgia. Home invasion is also known as burglary.
Home Invasion in Georgia
Home invasion in Georgia, otherwise known as burglary, is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-7-1 as:
First Degree Burglary: if a person enters or remains within an occupied, unoccupied, or vacant dwelling house of another or any building, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other such structure for use as the dwelling of another without authority and with the intent to commit a felony or theft therein.
Second Degree Burglary: if a person enters or remains in an occupied, unoccupied, or vacant building, structure, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, or aircraft without authority and with the intent to commit a felony or theft therein.
Simply put, the difference between First and Second Degree Burglary according to the law is whether or not the structure was intended to be a dwelling or not. If the structure is a dwelling or a home, then you have committed first degree. If the structure is not a dwelling, then second degree.
Many people are under the misconception that the only crime that can be associated with burglary is some sort of subsequent theft crime. However, this is not true. A person can still be convicted of burglary if he or she had the intention of kidnapping, assault, or rape. Again, an individual does not have to take any personal property items to be convicted of burglary.
A person found guilty of first degree burglary will be convicted of a felony and will be punished by a prison sentence of one to twenty years. If you are convicted a second time, you will be found guilty of a felony and will be punished by a prison sentence for two to twenty years. For a third or subsequent conviction of burglary, you will be guilty of a felony and will face a prison term for no less than five and no more than twenty-five years.
The punishment if found guilty of second degree burglary is a prison sentence for a period from one to eight years.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, call us now.